History of Falkirk Victoria Harriers
Early Falkirk Vics, pictured outside the original "hut" on Thornhill rd. [Photographer: Unknown]
One of Scotland's best known athletics establishments, Falkirk Victoria Harriers (FVH), celebrated its centenary in August 2001. Formed in August 1901, FVH has come a long way since its start as a traditional 'Harrier' club. Then, the big event of the year was the annual 10-mile handicap race for the Zetland Trophy which took place every New Year's Day round the half-mile cinder track (which still exists) in Victoria Park, Falkirk and attracted a large paying audience!
Since the opening of the all-weather track at Grangemouth, and the founding of ladies section in the 1960's, FVH has continued to grow both in numbers and success. Today the club offers competition for athletes all year round, with teams in all the main track & field leagues during the summer while focussing in winter on all the major Cross Country events as well as the Scottish Athletics Indoor Leagues at the Kelvin Hall for age groups up to Under 20.
The club is extremely fortunate to have one of the best facilities in the country - Grangemouth Stadium - at which to train, with the recent addition (by Falkirk Council) of the Indoor Centre of Excellence being extremely beneficial. Proof of this is evident in that the club currently boasts Scottish Champions in all age groups in a variety of events. Training sessions, regularly attended by 50 or 60 under the watchful eye of Senior Coach, Willie Sharp and a dozen club coaches, are held at Grangemouth on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, though individual coaches and their athletes hold extra sessions at other times.
The harriers hut as it looks today, situated on Thornhill road" [Photographer: Unknown]
FVH is also one of only a few clubs to have its own Headquarters, situated in the town's Thornhill Road, next to Victoria Park. Built in 1990, the building also includes disabled toilets, a meeting room, weight training area, general purpose hall and kitchen. The premises are used regularly as a base for training runs (endurance athletes preferring the variety of terrain offered by the area compared to the flat area of Grangemouth) and also for circuit training. Training runs are usually on a Tuesday, Thursday and occasionally on a Sunday. Callendar Park, only 5 minutes away, is a popular venue during the winter months for hill sessions and longer runs with the undulating terrain proving ideal for cross country.
The official opening of the harriers hut in 1990. Opened by Dennis Canavan.." [Photographer: Unknown]
Indeed the club has hosted the National Cross Country Championships on a number of occasions as well as District Championships and League races. The club receives excellent support from Falkirk Council in staging these events, a close working relationship which has come about through the joint promotion of the Round the House 10k road race at Grangemouth - an event which regularly attracts up to 1000 competitors.
A great page on covering part of the clubs history and also that of some of its more illustrious male athletes of the 70's, 80's and early 90's can be found here